Baz is the best, says Volts coach

17:00, Sep 22 2013

Otago Volts coach Vaughn Johnson labelled Brendon McCullum world cricket's best captain as he reflected on his team's 13th straight twenty20 win on Saturday.

In the seven-wicket Champions League win over Hyderabad Sunrisers in Mohali, Johnson said McCullum showed his class as a captain to restrict the Sunrisers to 143-5 with a limited attack.

With the Volts and Sunrisers already confirmed in the main draw, the game was effectively a dead rubber but the Volts still took the opportunity to impress even further in India despite missing a couple of frontline bowlers.

Johnson took the chance to rest new ball bowlers James McMillan and Ian Butler, who is a carrying a hamstring injury.

"Baz (McCullum) showed just what a champion he is. In my mind he's the best captain in world cricket at the moment. He had limited bowling resources and I think tactically he did very, very well," Johnson said.

"To bowl (Nick) Beard in the last over was a big punt but we seen how he bowled. I was very pleased with our bowling performance."

McCullum's older brother Nathan had been out of sorts with the ball in the first two games but McCullum junior took a punt on opening with the off-spinner against the Sunrisers and he produced man-of-the-match figures of two for 23 from his four overs.

The Volts had little trouble chasing down the 143 for victory with Brendon McCullum top-scoring with an unbeaten 67.

Johnson and his players are now eyeing another Indian Premier League team, the Mumbai Indians, in their opening game in the main draw of the tournament.

Given the 10 wins on the trot in New Zealand, backed up by the three-from-three record in the qualifying games, the Volts should be given huge respect by Mumbai.

"We've perhaps dropped a little bit in price," said Johnson.

" I don't know, we've come from the middle of winter and we've had a decent run, we're not fearful of anyone but we're still respectful of the sides we've got to play. I'd like to think we are still flying under the radar a little bit."


The Southland Times